Paul Simpson has revealed the conversation he had with a former Football Association colleague over Alfie McCalmont’s move to Carlisle United.

Former England Under-20 boss Simpson discussed the midfielder with Leeds United’s Under-21 boss Michael Skubala.

The two were FA colleagues, with Skubala having previously been coach of the national set-up’s Under-18s.

And Simpson said Skubala provided a positive reference for the 22-year-old Elland Road midfielder who will spend the rest of the season at Brunton Park.

“I’ve got a guy who I worked with at the FA, Michael Skubala who’s on the Leeds staff now, who I spoke to about [Alfie] – and he was really positive,” said Simpson.

“He [McCalmont] was part of Skubs’ under-21 group this year, and he said, ‘I’ll be sorry to see him go, but he needs to go and play football’.

“He’s been training with Leeds’ first team who play with a real high intensity, so I’m hoping he will come in a show that and be able to make a difference.

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“I just felt we needed another midfield player in there. I know we’ve got some options with Jayden [Harris] and Dev [Jamie Devitt], and Owen Moxon and Callum Guy, but I just felt we needed another one.

“I’m delighted he’s come in. I’m looking forward to working with him.”

McCalmont made his debut as a substitute in the closing stages of Saturday’s 2-0 win over Newport County.

It came in a second half which also saw Omari Patrick make his return from injury as a sub, having been out since October.

McCalmont’s fellow new signing, Middlesbrough defender Jack Robinson, was also in Saturday’s squad for the first time, as an unused sub.

They will all again be pushing for places against Patrick’s former club Bradford City this weekend.

“It was always the plan to get Omari on for 20-30 minutes,” said Simpson.

“It was good to get him back out there and we’ve got to do everything we can to keep him available, because he will cause all sorts of problems with his pace and ability to go past players.

“Alfie getting a run-out was good. I thought it was important to get Jack Robinson and Alfie involved in the game, to get a feel of what it’s like here.

“Unfortunately by doing that it means people like Jayden have to miss out. He doesn’t deserve to miss out, but sadly I can only choose 18 and I had to explain that to Jayden before the game.

“It wasn’t that I’m disappointed or he’s done anything wrong, it’s more a case of blooding everybody and getting them all involved.”